My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island – Review

Reading My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island was the most pleasant walk down memory lane for me. When I saw this title on NetGalley, I had to request it immediately due to the title alone.  I was born in Michigan and have vivid memories of visiting Mackinac Island and nearby St. Ignace as a child, though I haven’t been there in probably 20 years. The book featured scenes around Mackinac Island’s most famous landmarks, such as Arch Rock and The Grand Hotel and other areas around the island. One of the most interesting things about Mackinac Island is its restriction of motor vehicles. All of the sights must be seen from a carriage, bicycle, or on foot. I enjoyed the author’s use of bicycles in the story, making it seem realistic to the actual island, though the book was set in a time period before cars would have been common.

Image result for Grand Hotel (Mackinac Island)

In the first half of the story, we are acquainted with Maude, a young woman who finds she has been jilted by her beau. Her hopes of running the inn that has been in her family for years are dashed by her two-timing lover. Maude’s father’s refusal to turn the business over to his unmarried daughter forces her to take matters into her own hands by getting a job at the Grand Hotel as a maid, to prove her competence in managing a hotel.

Along the way, Maude meets a wealthy German aristocrat who seems immensely intriguing and kind.  She cannot help but be captivated by him after he inadvertently helps her young brother. Unfortunately, this impressive German man also has a secret he isn’t telling, and Maude is loathe to trust anyone after being deceived. Continue reading “My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island – Review”

Wait for Me – Review

You all know by now how I love World War II novels, especially historical romance. When I saw Wait for Me on Instagram a few months ago, I knew I had to give it a try. I had never before read a YA historical romance, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I mostly hoped it would not be a cheesy rendition of a love story.

Lorna Anderson is a young Scottish girl who helps with a variety of things on her father’s farm after her brothers leave for the war. When a previously injured German prisoner of war is assigned to work on their farm, Lorna is disgusted. How is she expected to work alongside the enemy her brothers are fighting? As Lorna reluctantly begins working with Paul, she comes to see him as a human instead of an enemy. Continue reading “Wait for Me – Review”

The Bronze Horseman – Review

I finally read The Bronze Horseman, people! That’s enough for a celebration in itself since it has been sitting on my Kindle app for almost a year now! Everyone raves about this book and I just knew I was going to love it intensely. You guys know how much I love a good World War II story. There’s a little part of me that is always anxious to read what I know will be an amazing book because I know I will only get to experience it for the first time, well, the first time. It’s incredible to fully live inside the pages of a book that one loves, but the pain of it being over is sometimes so devastating. It’s like having a friend move to the other side of the world to my empathetic brain. I don’t want to say goodbye. Luckily I have two more books to get me through my sorrows…at least until they are over. Continue reading “The Bronze Horseman – Review”

Drums of Autumn – Review

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I have been reading the Outlander series since May of last year, spacing the books out as I have had time to devote to the tale. Drums of Autumn is without a doubt my favorite of the Outlander series, thus far.  I know a lot of people complain about how long these books are and how scenes could easily be cut out, but I love the depth and length of these books.  I’ll admit, when I first started reading this particular book, 1070 pages seemed quite daunting.  Especially while the story took a bit to get going in my opinion, or maybe it’s simply that I didn’t care for the political schmoozing within the storyline.  However, once we were able to dive into Brianna’s perspective, I was hooked.  This series is so ridiculously epic.  I love being with the characters for as long as we are with this series.  I am so attached to them at this point, they feel like real people to mefriends.  In the days since I’ve finished reading, I’ve been missing the characters and wondering what is going to happen to them next.  I love being able to read about their daily lives- even the things that may seem slightly mundane, because it makes them more realistic.  Diana Gabaldon reminded me why I love long books, and books in a series.  Being able to read from the perspective of Claire, Brianna, Roger, and Jamie made this book fly by for me.  I constantly was wondering where the story was going to go.  My favorite part of this book was the connection between past and present. This aspect greatly appeals to me, as someone who enjoys history and the humanity behind it.
Let’s just say, when a book is over 1000 pages and the reader is still left wanting more, it is miraculous.  Diana Gabaldon is a genius.  I can’t imagine the time it took her to research and write these books.  She has devoted nearly 30 years to this series, and from what I hear she is still plugging away. What an amazing fruit of her labor. I can’t wait to see where the series continues to take readers.

If you haven’t jumped back in time with Claire and Jamie, it is a must.  I would rather read these books than watch the show any day. To keep from giving too much away to prospective readers, I’ll stop here.  I needed to quickly rave about this excellent novel.

If you have read the series, which book is your favorite?  No spoilers, please!

Happy Reading,
♥ Ashley

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